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Old 05-25-2013, 08:44 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Mulligan
But you rbmrtn are way more of a man than I am... Thermostat set at 85? Although when outside my range of comfort can be anywhere from 40-100 degrees my indoor comfort has gotten extremely narrow. When it gets above 73 inside during the summer I am hot and when it is below 70 in the winter I am cold. If my utility rates doubled I would be furious, but still wouldn't adjust the thermostat.


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+1 mostly ! if my bill doubled I'd probably adjust the thermostat by a degree or two but there is no way I'm going to be warm inside my home when its hotter than hades outside. Probably added 2 years to my FI calculations but we have to prioritze

Hello, Mulligan and Live And Learn...

Thanks for replying to my post.

Live And Learn, you hit the nail right on the head when you point out that "we have to prioritize." If your priority (choice) is having a little more "shirt-sleevy" temperature range at home and my priority is shaving that 2 years off my must-have-a-job time, we're both right. As long as we are aware that we are making a choice. (I'm afraid too many people are on autopilot and don't have that awareness.)

Having said that, being truly uncomfortable would sour the Frugal Game for me. It wouldn't feel like a game anymore; it would feel like sacrifice. As far as in-home temperatures are concerned, I found by trial and error that I'm good to go between 67 degrees in the winter and 79 degrees in the summer. After all, isn't that why God created sweaters, longjohns, shorts and t-shirts?

Alex in Virginia
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:57 PM   #42
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I buy used golf balls from lostgolfballs.com. Does that count?
If I start to run low, on Sunday evening I'll go walk the rough on a few holes on our course. Not hard to find 2 or 3 dozen balls and get some light exercise in an hour or two. I also find when I hit a ball into the woods, it's not uncommon for me to find 2 balls to replace the one I just lost. The worse I hit, the heavier my bag gets with found balls!

I'm a 66/80 thermostat guy. I just heat up the area I'm in with an electric or regular blanket and warmer clothes in winter. Cats help by laying on my legs. When it gets above freezing I'll splurge and kick it up to 68 since the heat pump is cheaper to run.
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:53 AM   #43
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[QUOTE=

Having said that, being truly uncomfortable would sour the Frugal Game for me. It wouldn't feel like a game anymore; it would feel like sacrifice.

Alex in Virginia[/QUOTE]

Right. I think the game part should be "getting something for nothing" or "sticking it to the man". It should be about finding gains in the margins or turning constraints inside out; social judo.

If the strategy is to do without, you lose at the game.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:33 AM   #44
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Right. I think the game part should be "getting something for nothing" or "sticking it to the man". It should be about finding gains in the margins or turning constraints inside out; social judo.

If the strategy is to do without, you lose at the game.

Marko, I agree but I want to clarify that a bit. (Thanks for the reply to my post, btw.)

I am doing without cable TV because I have more than enough to watch on Netflix at a fraction of the cost. I am doing without my old fee-based credit monitoring service because I now use Credit Karma and Credit Sesame for free. I am doing without my lights and electronics being on when I'm not using them because, hey -- I'm NOT using them. I am doing without 3 or 4 separate store runs a week in my vehicle because I gang them all together once a week and free up some of my money AND some of my time.

You probably get the idea by now. Finding gains in the margins, as you put it, is at the core of the Frugal Game and where those margins are can be constantly optimized and improved.

IMHO...

Alex in Virginia
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:36 AM   #45
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Marko, I agree but I want to clarify that a bit. (Thanks for the reply to my post, btw.)

I am doing without cable TV because I have more than enough to watch on Netflix at a fraction of the cost. I am doing without my old fee-based credit monitoring service because I now use Credit Karma and Credit Sesame for free. I am doing without my lights and electronics being on when I'm not using them because, hey -- I'm NOT using them. I am doing without 3 or 4 separate store runs a week in my vehicle because I gang them all together once a week and free up some of my money AND some of my time.

You probably get the idea by now. Finding gains in the margins, as you put it, is at the core of the Frugal Game and where those margins are can be constantly optimized and improved.

IMHO...

Alex in Virginia
Right. When I said "do without" I meant to say being uncomfortable, or abstaining from something you like just to save money. Being cold in your own house during winter to save a few bucks is a loser's game.

It's about having everything you need/want and getting it for the best/lowest cost possible. Leveraging constraints and turning them into resources (as you've done with Netflix vs cable). Game on!
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:02 AM   #46
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As far as saving on utilities, I always line dry my laundry. I have indoor clotheslines in my lower family room. When the hung laundry is dry, I give it a 15 minute tumble dry to remove wrinkles and hang the shirts and slacks immediately (no ironing). Not machine drying the towels when they are done washing has to be a huge savings.

Another big savings is for grocery store meats. We go to New Hampshire at least 3x a year. I bring along a big cooler to store large size meat packages. The prices there are much lower than here in upstate NY. We cut up and package the meat at home. We also get frozen seafood if the price is better. I get all the ice I need from the hotel to keep things cold on the 5 hour trip home. I also buy my beer and wine at a tax free package store in NH.

For lawn care, I intentionally let the grass go to seed naturally before the first mowing of the season. I mow it on a high setting, let the cuttings dry a bit, and then distribute the seed and mulch over any bare or thin spots. Nature then does its thing. I have not bought grass seed, fertilizer, or straw for mulch in years. My lot is 100 feet wide by 400 feet deep. Imagine the cost of fertilizer and weed killer to cover that expanse.
My lawn is not perfect 100% grass, but so what ? It's green and has no bare spots. Any persistent weeds are dealt with on a case by case basis instead of broadcast spreading.

I am establishing a fruit garden (grapes, blackberries, peaches, plums, blueberries) in my backyard big garden. I save seeds. I grow my own veggies in containers. No paying organic veggie prices for this kid!
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:11 AM   #47
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As far as saving on utilities, I always line dry my laundry.
Line drying is great. I like it because it burns a few extra calories, saves money, drying outside on sunny days helps kill germs, and it is better for the environment. Line drying and a front loading washer saved us quite a bit on energy costs.
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:43 AM   #48
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Line drying is great. I like it because it burns a few extra calories, saves money, drying outside on sunny days helps kill germs, and it is better for the environment. Line drying and a front loading washer saved us quite a bit on energy costs.
I do mine indoors for several reasons...

1. No bird plops or bugs on my clean laundry.
2. I can hang it and leave it regardless of weather or season.
3. I use clothesline rope with D connectors at both ends to attach/detach it quickly on the heavy duty nails I drove into my fireplace mantel (railroad tie). I leave the connected ends on a metal ceiling support jack.

I have a dehumidifier in the room anyway, so no moisture retention in the room. The clothes dry very quickly.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:00 PM   #49
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I do mine indoors for several reasons...

1. No bird plops or bugs on my clean laundry.
2. I can hang it and leave it regardless of weather or season.
3. I use clothesline rope with D connectors at both ends to attach/detach it quickly on the heavy duty nails I drove into my fireplace mantel (railroad tie). I leave the connected ends on a metal ceiling support jack.

I have a dehumidifier in the room anyway, so no moisture retention in the room. The clothes dry very quickly.
That sounds like a great set up.

I have portable drying racks and use them in the garage when it rains and put them outside the rest of the time. I found a spot outside the birds' flight paths that works really well for the racks.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:23 PM   #50
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Yes. Practicing no-sacrifice frugality puts me more in control. Helps me come out ahead. Gets me in a winning mood. And who isnít going to feel good about all of that?
Says it all!
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:17 AM   #51
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Went to the grocery today and started paying attention to prices. Tried cod instead of salmon (half the cost) and came up with an excellent recipe reminiscent of sea bass. Might be kind of interesting, and learn more about cooking. Found some interesting less expensive alternatives on several items. Don't HAVE to, but thought we'd give frugality a try as we enter into retirement, to see what happens.
I eat mostly wild, unfrozen salmon all summer. But Pacific Cod, called "true cod" around here to distinguish it from another excellent but quite expensive fish called black cod, is my go-to fish all the rest of the time. Cod is the ancient protein staple of the North Atlantic / North Sea /Irish Sea, English Channel and anyone else who fished these same waters. And of course for both Atlantic and Pacific Coasts here in North America, for peoples which had ships/boats and sailing knowledge. Trader Joe sells frozen Pacific cod which is very good for stews and such; and also Haddock and Hake which are both excellent white fish for similar uses. Hake has often been considered a trash fish, but I've tried it in tomato stews or creamed, and like it very much. Likely it is also good for fish n chips, but I have not tried this.

Cod is not exactly cheap by the thrifty standard of this board, but I don't know what fish would be. I pay $10.95 either at Asian market, or downtown in the Public Market, and sometimes for a bit less at my local QFC. Overall, I find Whole Foods fish excellent, but too expensive compared to other equally good or better, but cheaper, sources. Usually the "cheap game" does not thrill me at all, though I do always keep my eyes open for quality at a price; and I know what I am buying. I bought a whole 5 pound Copper River sockeye yesterday for $10/#. I had GF over for lunch and we baked the whole posterior part of the fish. Incredibly good. And we'll have the steaks forward of this piece for a few days until they are gone.

For me, the cheapest good fish is a Mackerel that the Japanese call Saba. Usually less than $5/lb.

Ha
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Old 05-27-2013, 05:32 AM   #52
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I am frugal on the big stuff such as old car paid off, low taxes, liability only insurance, high deductible health, etc. But I slide badly on the low end things. I will keep my regular light bulbs until the bitter end, and sometimes the lights stay on for no reason other than I didn't turn them off. But you rbmrtn are way more of a man than I am... Thermostat set at 85? Although when outside my range of comfort can be anywhere from 40-100 degrees my indoor comfort has gotten extremely narrow. When it gets above 73 inside during the summer I am hot and when it is below 70 in the winter I am cold. If my utility rates doubled I would be furious, but still wouldn't adjust the thermostat.
I can't sleep at night unless it's 74 degrees or cooler in the bedroom. Since I have a 2300 sq ft house and sleep in only 400 sq ft, I was wondering if anyone had used one of those roll around portable ACs to cool one room? My guts tell me I'd save quite a bit of money.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:25 AM   #53
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I can't sleep at night unless it's 74 degrees or cooler in the bedroom. Since I have a 2300 sq ft house and sleep in only 400 sq ft, I was wondering if anyone had used one of those roll around portable ACs to cool one room? My guts tell me I'd save quite a bit of money.

Hello, Davis Mills... and thanks for coming into the discussion arising from my post.

What about a fan? For many years, during summers both my wife and I have had an oscillating pedestal fan on our respective sides of the bed. That breeze blowing across does a super job of keeping us cool. Open windows help, too. Ceiling fans do the trick in other rooms of the house.

(BTW, during winters the pedestal fans are replaced by oil-filled thermostat-controlled space heaters. NO sense heating a whole house up when you are stationary in one spot for several hours.)

Any which way, it's a score in the Frugal Game!

Alex in Virginia
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:44 AM   #54
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I can't sleep at night unless it's 74 degrees or cooler in the bedroom. Since I have a 2300 sq ft house and sleep in only 400 sq ft, I was wondering if anyone had used one of those roll around portable ACs to cool one room? My guts tell me I'd save quite a bit of money.
You'll save even more money by not buying one! I got one two summers ago and returned it within 48 hours. Cooled the room ok, but!....every five or six hours it would shut down because you had to manually drain the accumulated water from the thing.

The drain was at floor level, so imagine a beeping alarm going off at 3AM and then having to get on your hands and knees at that hour with a small pan to drain the @#%^^& machine, spilling water all over the place, DW screaming at you (because you woke her up), starting to sweat (because the machine shut itself off), scrambling around looking for the little drain plug that rolled under the dresser (as residual water drips onto the carpet), more beeping as you re-start it, ... if that all sounds like fun, this product is for you!

I even hooked up a small hose on the second night to avoid the above but because the drain is at floor level, you need something like a small dish/cookie sheet to catch the water and not a big bucket.

Of course, YMMV
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:48 AM   #55
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You'll save even more money by not buying one! I got one two summers ago and returned it within 48 hours. Cooled the room ok, but!....every five or six hours it would shut down because you had to manually drain the accumulated water from the thing.

The drain was at floor level, so imagine a beeping alarm going off at 3AM and then having to get on your hands and knees at that hour with a small pan to drain the @#%^^& machine, spilling water all over the place, DW screaming at you (because you woke her up), starting to sweat (because the machine shut itself off), scrambling around looking for the little drain plug that rolled under the dresser (as residual water drips onto the carpet), more beeping as you re-start it, ... if that all sounds like fun, this product is for you!

I even hooked up a small hose on the second night to avoid the above but because the drain is at floor level, you need something like a small dish/cookie sheet to catch the water and not a big bucket.

Of course, YMMV

LOL. Thanks for saving me money and avoiding this purchase. Would not like to experience the 3:00 AM wake-up call that you have endured. Perhaps we'll move toward the fan solution.
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:52 AM   #56
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Hello, Davis Mills... and thanks for coming into the discussion arising from my post.

What about a fan? For many years, during summers both my wife and I have had an oscillating pedestal fan on our respective sides of the bed. That breeze blowing across does a super job of keeping us cool. Open windows help, too. Ceiling fans do the trick in other rooms of the house.

(BTW, during winters the pedestal fans are replaced by oil-filled thermostat-controlled space heaters. NO sense heating a whole house up when you are stationary in one spot for several hours.)

Any which way, it's a score in the Frugal Game!

Alex in Virginia
Since we live in South Georgia, ceiling fans are installed in every room. When the overnight lows hit 82 and the humidity is 90%, some type of AC is required. Perhaps the oscillating fans might do the trick and I appreciate your input and advice.
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:00 AM   #57
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LOL. Thanks for saving me money and avoiding this purchase. Would not like to experience the 3:00 AM wake-up call that you have endured. Perhaps we'll move toward the fan solution.
You could also just use a small window air conditioner in your bedroom. As others have said, the roll around ones are not efficient or convenient.
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:33 AM   #58
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In the summer, I love fans and open windows and doors to catch the breezes. I think fans use less electricity than some might expect.

In the winter, I keep warm at night with a heated mattress pad. They are so much better than electric blankets. The mattress pad I bought in 2011 cost $45 and its still working great. I'm very warm and cozy at night even though I set my programmable thermostat to go to 54 degrees once I know my bed has been heated. It is a little difficult to get up and out of that warm bed, so this tip might be best for those who have already retired.
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:41 AM   #59
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The drain was at floor level, so imagine a beeping alarm going off at 3AM and then having to get on your hands and knees at that hour with a small pan to drain the @#%^^& machine, spilling water all over the place, DW screaming at you (because you woke her up), starting to sweat (because the machine shut itself off), scrambling around looking for the little drain plug that rolled under the dresser (as residual water drips onto the carpet), more beeping as you re-start it, ... if that all sounds like fun, this product is for you!

I even hooked up a small hose on the second night to avoid the above but because the drain is at floor level, you need something like a small dish/cookie sheet to catch the water and not a big bucket.

Of course, YMMV
Couldn't you prop it up on something so it could drain by gravity to a larger bucket?
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Old 05-27-2013, 11:19 AM   #60
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Couldn't you prop it up on something so it could drain by gravity to a larger bucket?
You can also use an automatic condensate pump. Run a line to a sink or out the window, if in an apartment through the wall into your neighbor's apartment.

Amazon.com: condenser pump
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